The Military Medical Museum of the Russian Defense Ministry is located on the territory previously belonging to Semyonovsky Regiment of the Guards. It is the successor of the first Russian medical museums – the collection of the Masters’ (Instrumental) House – a workshop founded in 1721 by order of Peter the Great on Apothecary Island for making surgical instruments; the Surgical Museum opened in 1863 at the Emperor’s Medico-Surgical Academy (which was, in fact, the first medical museum in Russia); the Pirogoff Museum at the Russian Surgical Society founded in 1897 (the money for founding the museum was collected by many Russian surgeons and physicians who wanted to commemorate the works of Nikolai Pirogoff); the Military Sanitary Museum which existed in Leningrad in 1925-1935, as well as the Museum of the Medical Service of the Red Army (on the basis of this museum, after its transfer from Moscow, the Military Medical Museum was founded). The Military Medical Museum accumulated the collections of the above mentioned museums and the archives of military medical documents.
More than 219 thousand exhibits and collections are kept in the Military Medical Museum, as well as 100 thousand books and periodicals kept in its library and 60 million of archival documents. The museum’s collections also include personal belongings and works of more than 300 outstanding physicians (including James Wylie, Nikolai Pirogoff, Sergei Botkin and Ivan Pavlov) who significantly contributed to the development of Russian and international medical research.
The museum is one of the major Russian centers of the studies of the history of medicine and military history. More than 35 Doctors and Candidates of Medicine work in the museum. For more than 50 years, the St. Petersburg Research Society of Historians of Medicine has existed at the museum. The museum has also housed the St. Petersburg Section of Military History of the Academy of Military Sciences. The 35 volumes of The Experience of the Soviet Medicine in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945 written on the basis of the materials of the museum have significantly contributed to the intellectual heritage of Russia, and so did other publications of the museum, such as the 6 volumes of the biographical reference book Military Surgeons – Participants of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945, and 27 volumes of the works of the museum’s researchers. The latter publications, among other information, contain details on the first days of the Medical Service of the Russian Armed Forces and determine the exact day when the Medical Service was founded – September 26 (October 6), 1620.
More than 500 dissertations have been prepared and defended at the museum, more than 3 thousand research articles and 112 books, as well as 546 booklets (on first aid, military hygiene and other matters of basic medical knowledge for soldiers) have been published. Portraits of almost all Russian physicians can be found in the museum. There is a comprehensive catalog of all the museum’s collections. The annual publications of the museum are the informational review Zarubezhnaya Voyennaya Meditsina (Military Medicine Abroad), Vestnik Istorii Voyennoi Meditsiny (Review of the History of Military Medicine) and Pamyatnye Daty Voyennoi Meditsiny (Memorial Dates of Military Medicine). To commemorate the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, the museum’s staff have written the books History of Medicine in St. Petersburg and History of Russian Military Medicine.
The museum’s research in the sphere of international humanitarian law has been important for all the mankind. Thus, the research work Russian Military Commanders of the 18th Century – Pioneers of the International Humanitarian Law in War Time permitted to show Russia’s contribution to the development of this type of law and was highly appreciated all over the world.
The museum’s activities were universally recognized in 2001, when Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, awarded the staff of the museum “for significant contribution to the development of museum work and to preservation of historical traditions of Russian medicine”.
The archives of the museum remind us of what the population of Russia had to endure in the 20th century. These archives contain information about 35 million of the participants of the Second World War, local military conflicts of the late 20th century, as well as wars of the previous centuries. There is information on people of more than 200 nationalities – not only those from the former USSR, but also from all over the world.
At present, the museum is one of the major Russian and CIS centers for social support of the veterans of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), the war in Afghanistan, military conflicts in Tajikistan, in Chechnya and in some other regions.
During the last 50 years, more than 8 million people, thanks to the museum, could prove their rights for veterans’ privileges. Everybody is welcome to the museum advisors’ room where one can receive advice and detailed information on his or her veteran’s status and possibility of privileges in connection with a war wound or a disease which occurred during a war.
Yegor Stroyev, Chairman of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS countries, awarded the museum in 2001 for its remarkable activities in the sphere of social and legal support of veterans of the Great Patriotic War residing in the CIS.
The museum is a member of the ICOM, the Union of Russian Museums, the International Academic Union, the European Association of the Museums of History of Medicine and other State and public organizations. It has received numerous awards, including awards from the St. Petersburg Legislative Council and from the Medical Center of the Secretariat of the President of the Russian Federation, as well as the Yefim Smirnov Award.

Premises of the museum

Gallery I. The origin of Russian medicine
Gallery II. Medicine of the 20th-21st centuries

Rooms:1. The museum: its past and present2. Catching a glimpse of the archives3. Memorial room of Semyonovsky Regiment of the GuardsЁ Chapel of Presentation into the TempleЁ Excursion and Lecture BureauЁ Information CenterЁ Cloak-roomЁ WCЁ To see other rooms of the museum 4. Medicine of the 18th-19th centuries5. Nikolai Pirogoff – genius of Russian medicine 6. The Red Cross Society and Nurses’ Training Centers in Russia7. St. Petersburg and history of medicine8. Physicians from other countries and their descendents who worked in Russia9, 10. Medicine of the first quarter of the 20th century11. Soviet medicine before the Second World War12. Medicine during the Great Patriotic War, 1941-194513. Medicine in armed conflicts and disaster medicine14. Conference room15. Exhibition room

Director of the Military Medical Museum of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation – Anatoly Andreyevich Budko, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Academician of the Academy of Military Sciences, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Research Society of Historians of Medicine, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Section of Military History of the Academy of Military Sciences.

Address: 2 Lazaretny per. St. Petersburg 191180 Russia Phone: 315-53-58Fax: 310-20-25E-mail:

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